Announcements

  • September 30, 2013

    Inside N I A, A Blog for ResearchersLaunched in May 2013, Inside NIA: A Blog for Researchers is gaining subscribers and becoming a must-read NIA resource in just a few short months. With weekly posts on NIA funding policy and priorities, tips for grant-seekers, and program highlights, the blog has been getting lots of attention. It has been highlighted by Sally Rockey, director of the NIH Office of Extramural Research, and others in discussions of NIH funding and science administration.

    Dr. Robin Barr, director of NIA’s Division of Extramural Activities, co-manages the blog and has authored a number of posts. “The blog answers common questions about funding and the NIA budget, and draws more attention to NIA scientific resources,” he noted. “During this challenging budget time, we are finding that it’s an especially good way to engage with the research community in a transparent and responsive way.”

    If you are a grant applicant, have an application in mind, or are a friend of the NIA, the blog has information on topics that matter to you. Do you have thoughts about topics that should be covered or other ways in which NIA should be reaching out to the research community? Please let us know by subscribing and taking the time to submit a blog comment.

    Sign up now to get Inside NIA in your inbox or get the feed for your RSS reader, and join the conversation!

  • September 4, 2013

    Cartoon of four people in conversation.

    Will you join us in Bethesda, Maryland this coming October 30 and 31 to talk about aging research in a new way?

    The Trans-NIH Geroscience Interest Group (GSIG), with the support of the Alliance for Aging Research and the Gerontological Society of America, has organized a major meeting for scientists studying aging as a risk factor for most chronic diseases. We hope you’ll be able to attend. The meeting is free and open to the public, but registration closes soon.

    Ron Kohanski, Deputy Director of NIA's Division of Aging Biology, provides details about the meeting in a new blog post: Register today for the upcoming NIH Geroscience Summit!

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it weekly in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • August 28, 2013

    The NIA recently created a publicly available database to help coordinate and plan Alzheimer’s research, the International Alzheimer’s Disease Research Portfolio (IADRP). Pronounce it: “eye drop.” Laurie Ryan, a Program Director in NIA's Division of Neuroscience explains this new tool and how scientists and others in the research community can use it to identify funders, find collaborators, and search for gaps that may need to be addressed.

    Read the full blog post: IADRP: search for funded research projects in Alzheimer's disease

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it weekly in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • August 26, 2013

    The Summer 2013 issue of Connections, the e-newsletter from NIA’s Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center, is now available!

    In the latest issue:

    • Read about Alzheimer’s and Down syndrome and how research in this area may help scientists learn about Alzheimer’s in other groups
    • Learn about non-Alzheimer’s dementias and a workshop at NIH covering research into vascular, frontotemporal, and other dementias
    • Find out about delirium, what it means for cognitive health in older adults, and ways to better treat the condition
    • Check out the latest NIA-funded research results related to Alzheimer’s and cognitive health
    • Browse a list of clinical trials now recruiting

    Want to get future issues of Connections and other Alzheimer’s and aging research news by e-mail? Sign up today! Or follow us on Twitter @Alzheimers_NIH.

  • August 21, 2013

    Cartoon of four people in conversation.In recent years, the National Institute on Aging has made a large share of awards in September. Robin Barr, director of the Division of Extramural Activities, explains why and what’s being done to untangle the traffic jam. One solution—grant recycling.

    Read the full blog post: Recycling: not just a good thing for the environment

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it weekly in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • August 14, 2013

    The Request for Applications (RFA-RM-13-012), “Demonstration Projects for Pragmatic Clinical Trials Focusing on Multiple Chronic Conditions,” has been published in the NIH Guide. The purpose of this RFA is to solicit applications for cooperative agreements for demonstration projects for efficient, large-scale, pragmatic clinical trials focused on management of patients with multiple chronic conditions. Trials must be conducted across two or more health care systems (HCS) and must be conducted as part of the NIH HCS Research Collaboratory supported through the NIH Common Fund (see https://commonfund.nih.gov/hcscollaboratory).

    Awards made through this RFA will initially support a one-year milestone-driven planning phase (UH2), with possible rapid transition to the implementation phase (UH3) for a pragmatic trial demonstration project. UH3s will be awarded after administrative review of eligible UH2s that have met the scientific milestone and feasibility requirements necessary for the UH3 implementation phase, depending on the availability of funds. The UH2/UH3 application must be submitted as a single application; applicants should particularly note the specific instructions for each phase in this RFA. The deadline for applications is December 2, 2013

    The RFA can be found at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-13-012.html

  • August 14, 2013

    Cartoon of four people in conversation.The NIA has funding available for junior faculty clinician-researchers in medical and surgical specialties. These grants can help early career physicians establish a track record in aging research. Please apply, and share this opportunity with others. Sue Zieman, a Medical Officer in NIA's Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology is the program officer for this funding, and she explains more about this opportunity in a new blog post.

    Read the full blog post: Funding opportunity for medical and surgical specialists to establish a track record in aging research

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it weekly in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

     

  • August 7, 2013

    Cartoon of four people in conversation.Have you come across a compound or treatment in your own research that you think might promote healthy aging? Now is the time to propose it be tested! An NIA program is accepting proposals for candidate interventions for testing in a genetically heterogeneous mouse model. The next deadline is September 20. Nancy Nadon, Program Officer of the Biological Resources Program and Chief of Biological Resources Branch in NIA's Division of Aging Biology explains this opportunity in a new blog post.

    Read the full blog post: Interventions Testing Program—upcoming deadline for candidate interventions

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it weekly in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • August 8, 2013

    Resveratrol, a compound in nuts, grapes, and wine, has been previously found to slow age-related health decline in mice on a standard diet and improve health and longevity of overweight, aged mice on a high fat diet. In a new study of non-human primates, researchers have found that resveratrol counters some of the negative effects of a high fat/high sugar diet on the pancreas, protecting these primates from developing diabetes.

    A healthy pancreas responds to an increase in blood sugar (after a meal, for instance) by activating β-cells in the part of pancreas called the islets.  These β-cells produce, store and release insulin helping to break down the sugar and restore the blood to normal levels. A long-term high fat/high sugar diet can cause diabetes, a condition in which the body cannot regulate its blood sugar.

    Rhesus monkeys were fed either a standard diet, a high fat diet/high sugar diet with a placebo, or a high fat/high sugar diet with resveratrol for 24 months. Researchers found that the islets of monkeys on a high fat/high sugar diet supplemented with resveratrol were similar to those of monkeys on a standard diet. The compound also helped to maintain the β-cell numbers and function in these monkeys, compared to those on a high fat/high sugar diet without resveratrol. Researchers suggest that their findings may have future implications for treatments for people with insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, and diabetes.

    Reference: Fiori JL, et al. Resveratrol Prevents β–cell Dedifferentiation in Non-Human Primates Given a High Fat/High Sugar Diet. Diabetes. Published online July 24, 2013; doi: 10.2337/db13-0266
     

  • August 5, 2013

    The protein topoisomerase is considered the “magician of the DNA world.” It stabilizes DNA’s double helix structure during replication and repair, enabling DNA to unwind and then rewind without breaking.

    Topoisomerase, was thought not to have a role in RNA—a single stranded genetic structure. In an important new study, however, researchers at the National Institute on Aging at NIH have discovered the first RNA topoisomerase, Top3β, in animal cells and determined it to be crucial for normal neurodevelopment in mice and fruit flies. Specifically, the scientists found Top3β genetically interacts with protein FMRP (fragile X mental retardation protein) to promote healthy brain function and protect against mental disorders.

    Furthermore, they report that some mutations in FMRP that cause Fragile X syndrome, the leading cause of autism and strongly associated with schizophrenia in humans, also disrupt the interaction between FMRP and Top3β.  These findings are reported in the August 4, 2013, online issue of Nature Neuroscience.  

    In the same issue of Nature Neuroscience is a paper linking Top3β deletion in a Finnish population to schizophrenia and/or intellectual disability.  This suggests a likely human application for the companion finding in animal models.  Researchers propose that these new reports might point the way to targets for future therapy for patients with these mental disorders.

    Reference: Xu D., et al. Top3β is an RNA topoisomerase that works with fragile X syndrome protein to promote synapse formation. Nature Neuroscience. Published online August 4, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nn.3479

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